2 min article

Return shipping for buyers

There are several ways you can send an item back to the seller. Who pays the cost of return shipping will depend on why you’re returning it, and the seller’s return policy.

When the seller accepts your return request, you’ll either receive a return shipping label from the seller, or you’ll be asked to purchase a label directly from a carrier.

We’ll send an email to your Messages - opens in new window or tab with the subject line “Send the item back” with all the details of your return request. You’ll need to ship the item back before the date stated in this email. If you don’t ship the item back by that date, we may close your request and you will not receive a refund.

Who pays for return shipping?

The seller pays for return shipping if they offer a free returns policy or if the item was damaged, faulty, or doesn’t match the listing description.

You pay for return shipping if you’re returning the item because you changed your mind, and the seller’s return policy states that buyers are responsible for return shipping.

Learn more about what to do if:

When you send your item back make sure a tracking number is added to your return request to avoid delays or issues in the refund process. If you use a Shippo return label, a tracking number is automatically uploaded. If the return is being shipped with a different label provider, the seller may have added the number for you. If not, you should manually add tracking details to the return.

If the seller is paying for return shipping

When you're sending an item back to the seller, there are a few methods you can use to ship it back. If the seller is responsible for the return shipping costs, they'll let you know how they'd like the item to be sent back to them. Generally, they'll ask you to send the item back using one of the following:

  • A Shippo return shipping label – Learn how to print a Shippo label
  • A label from their preferred carrier – If the seller provides you with a shipping label, they'll send it to you directly, and you can print it from the "Your postage label is ready" email or message that you'll receive

They may also contact you to make other arrangements such as returning the item to their store or reimbursing you for return shipping.

If the seller is responsible for return shipping, it's important that they cover the costs. If they don't provide a paid method of return shipping, or if they don't offer to reimburse you for return shipping, let us know by asking eBay to step in.

If you're paying for return shipping

If you're responsible for the return shipping costs, you can choose how you'd like to send it back to the seller. You can either pay for a Shippo return shipping label, or choose to send the item back using a carrier of your choice. If you choose to use your own carrier, we recommend using a tracked service. Tracking is important as it lets the seller know the item's on its way, and also means that eBay can see the progress of the return in case there's an issue and we're asked to help out with the return.

When you use a Shippo return label, tracking information is automatically uploaded.

How to add return tracking details if you used your own label

If you're using your own return shipping label, here's how to add the tracking information to your return:

  1. Go to the return request in My eBay.
  2. Select the shipping carrier from the dropdown list. If you select Other, enter the carrier name.
  3. Enter the tracking number.
  4. Select Mark as sent.

Other ways to return an item

Sometimes returning an item may require additional or alternative shipping arrangements, such as:

  • Shipping a return with insurance: If you or the seller prefers that an item be returned with insurance, purchase your own return postage with insurance
  • Returning multiple packages: If you find that you need multiple return shipping labels to ship multiple packages back to the seller, contact the seller to make alternative shipping arrangements for the packages
  • Making alternative shipping arrangements: When the seller is responsible for return shipping costs and you need to make alternative shipping arrangements, contact the seller to agree on the service and cost before sending the item. For freight items, make sure to include the packing slip, tracking, and for items with a total cost of $750 or more, make sure to require signature confirmation

If you use alternative shipping arrangements, the return shipping charges aren't included in any eBay Money Back Guarantee refund you’ll receive.

When returning an item, use a carrier that provides tracking and upload the details to the return request.

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